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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hong Hai Dining is a refreshing take on Vietnamese cuisine in Fountain Valley, California

Nhu White always knew she wanted to have her own restaurant. Her mother has been a successful restauranteur and owner of Hong Hai Seafood in Vietnam for over 30 years so it clearly runs in the family. Nhu began her career in restaurants over seven years ago starting from the bottom as a hostess, working her way up to server, and manager. She knew at this point, her experience was at its prime and was ready to open her own restaurant. On January 15, 2015, Hong Hai Dining opened its doors and has been busy ever since. Nhu has a few menu items that are her mom’s recipes from Hong Hai Seafood. Using fresh local ingredients, the food is fragrant when brought to the table and delicious to the taste buds. They also redecorated the interior of the former restaurant with bright white walls and studio photos of fresh ingredients like rice and vegetables used in Vietnamese cooking. The contrast of the black table and chairs is striking.

Fresh Corn Sautéed with Garlic Butter (Bắp xào Bơ Tỏi) is delicious! The whole corn kernels are sweet and pop with a tapioca-like texture on the inside. The garlic butter is perfect and adds an umami flavor to the dish. The crispy fried garlic slices contrast with the refreshing and zingy green onions. Rating: 5/5

Salt and Pepper Calamari is simple but oh so delicious. The batter on the outside is light, crispy, and simply seasoned with salt and pepper. The calamari itself is sweet and a little chewy. The sautéed onions, green onions, and garlic add depth to the dish. You’ll be surprised how fast this dish will disappear when sharing. You might have to order one just for yourself! Rating: 5/5

Fresh Baby Clams (Nghêu) bathed in Hong Hai Spicy Broth (Hấp kiểu Hồng Hải) is beautifully presented in a hot pot with flame. The broth is fragrant from the ginger and lemongrass. The flavor is refreshing, slightly spicy, and a tad briny from the clam juice. The clams are perfectly cooked with a tender texture and sweet clam flavor. The broth is not to be wasted so order up some noodles to make a soup with it. This would be excellent on a cold, rainy day. Rating: 5/5

Oxtail Noodle Soup (Phở Đuôi Bò) is another soup for a cold, rainy day. The oxtail is served on the bone. The oxtail is tender, fatty, and gelatinous making the soup rich in beefy flavor. The broth has a vegetable and herbaceous base making the oxtail flavor more pronounced. The addition of onion, cilantro, green onions, bean sprouts, and Thai basil make this soup into a meal. Gently agitate the rice noodles on the bottom so they open up in the broth and let the slurping begin! Add the smoked chili paste in for an added sweet, smoky, and slightly spicy flavor. Rating: 5/5

Fried Rice with Shrimp, Crab, and Calamari (Cơm Chiên Hải Sản) is fragrant with the fruits of the sea. The crab meat cooks into the rice and caramelizes for a salty sweet crab flavor. The shrimp are perfectly cooked with a snap. The calamari provides a chewy texture to the rice. If you have any of the garlic butter corn left, mix it into the rice for an additional level of flavor. The corn provides an added sweetness that is unbelievable! Rating: 5/5

Chocolate Lava Cake topped with fresh blueberries, raspberries, powdered sugar, and served with berry sauce. This is the perfect ending to a perfect meal. The chocolate lava cake is not overly sweet with a brownie-like outer texture and a molten lava chocolate center that flows out when the first bite is taken. The rich chocolate flavor will amuse the senses and works really well with the fresh berries with their naturally sweet/sour flavor. If you need more sweetness, drizzle the berry sauce on top. The presentation is beautiful! Rating: 5/5

Hong Hai Dining is a Vietnamese hidden gem in Fountain Valley! Come and taste for yourself!

Specials:
  • Happy Hour Tuesday through Friday from 2pm to 5pm: $4.50 Brisket Noodle Soup (Ph Nạm) or Buy One, Get One Free (not combined with other offers or promotions)
  • 10% your first visit when you sign up for “Coupons
  • For those of you in the Fountain Valley area, check the Community Guide for a coupon

Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Décor: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 5 out of 5 stars


For more information:
18041 Magnolia St
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
+1.714.968.2199
Hours: Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday from 11am to 9:30pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 10pm, Closed on Monday
Parking: Free shopping center parking

Hong Hai Dining on Urbanspoon

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